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international organisation that wants to spark awareness and debate on the great importance and potential of design. INDEX: wants to inspire the creation of new designs that improve the lives of many people around the world.
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SQFlex : home

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How did this design improve life?:
The SQFlex system brings water to places where nature does not – third-world countries, for example. It is a reliable water supply system based on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. By ensuring a reliable water supply in areas with extreme climates and without a reliable electricity supply, the system improves the quality of life and general health in many places around the world. With the SQFlex system, areas that have previously been considered uninhabitable or unable to sustain life have become viable and attractive. The SQFlex is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The system has addressed and solved basic problems concerning the consumption and supply of energy by making it possible to choose between different sources of energy, depending on the circumstances.
Thus, SQFlex is a product that demonstrates that design is no longer simply about form and function, innovation and trends, but also about attitudes and responsibility – for example with regard to the availability of resources and environmental issues.
Name of Designer(s):
Niels Due Jensen
Designers professional status:
Other
Status of realization:
Realized
Kind of design:
Tangible
Produced by:
Grundfos Management A/S
Year of production, realization or publishing:
2001
Designed in country:
Denmark
Used on continents:
Entire World
Short description of design:
The SQFlex System is a reliable water supply system based on renewable energy sources; it consists of a water pump, cables, a control unit and an energy supply - solar panels or a wind turbine (as well as a generator and batteries) or a combination of these. The system is reliable, low-maintenance and cost-effective.
Functionallity and use of design:
The SQFlex system succeeds where other pump systems struggle, by adapting to the characteristic weather profile of any given area. By analysing such location specific variables as average sunshine and wind speed, Grundfos is able to calculate how much natural energy is available over an average season.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
SQFlex is not yet released for sale in all countries – for example, the pump is not available in Denmark.
There have also been some minor bugs in the product, but they are addressed on an ongoing basis through intensive user contact and user-feedback.
Research and need:
When Grundfos had developed the initial prototype for the water pump and control box (without the internal working parts), the company launched a series of workshop sessions in North America, Africa and Australia (the main markets). During these workshops a delegation from Grundfos consisting of product managers, technicians and marketing people presented the prototype and asked the workshop participants, mainly future distributors and retailers, for feedback. Grundfos had also prepared a list of questions to be sorted out in the workshop sessions.
These workshop sessions provided Grundfos with information about the users’ demands and needs that helped the developers determine how to proceed with developing and completing the SQFlex system.
SQFlex is a design that is based on a very high degree of user involvement and on the users’ demands and desires.
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